Q: In a previous column, I read the Rav’s answer to the question of whether it is permissible for a wife to tell her husband lashon hara in order to calm down. The conclusion was that one must use this heter cautiously, because it isn’t a free-for-all.
In order to avoid lashon hara, I do try to control myself and not blurt out every annoying incident. But very often, after the aggravation festers in my heart for a while, it ends up coming out and I tell my husband about a neighbor or friend who offended me. He listens, and we work on giving them the benefit of the doubt, removing the anger from my heart, and avoiding further discord that could result from my anger.
The question got me thinking, and I’m now wondering if it may be preferable for me to discuss the problem with my husband right away and not try to control myself and let my anger intensify?
A: You bring up a very sensible point, which may give you the heter to discuss annoying issues with your husband in order to avoid developing anger and hatred against your offender. Yet, because this is a frequent occurrence, it may lead you to make use of this heter without properly considering if you are justified in each individual case to tell your husband. If you do this often enough you may develop a habit of speaking lashon hara with your husband on the premise that you might not be able to control yourself later on.
For this reason, it is preferable to try and air out your issues with a friend or relative who doesn’t know the subject, and will not figure out who it is later on. You will thus help yourself without discussing it with your husband, and avoid speaking lashon hara.
If you’ve tried the above and still haven’t managed to calm down, then you may make use of the Chofetz Chaim’s heter to speak to your husband in order to let go of your feelings.
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